I Never Though It Would Be This Complicated…

I decided to install some upgrades & replace some worn-out parts on my camper, nothing really big but all quite good.

The reality is that I always knew it would challenge me and push me past comfort zones. I didn’t expect some of the twists that came my way today though.

I’ve handled all the ones that Babe delivered, my ISP on the other hand… very frustrated with them still.


While camping in New York I finally got around to installing one upgrade that I knew I wanted and expected it to be a little tricky. It meant I’d have to take a drill in hand and make new holes in Babe. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with and it was something I wanted to get right the first time. No room for error!

I refined the design to suit Babe and it works great. I still need to add a few touches but the difference was obvious right away. It was intimidating drilling holes though! and I didn’t put holes for every snap (yet). I’ll see how it works over the summer but the few days in NY after it was in place were pretty much bug-free inside.

I now have netting for every opening

Since we got back I’ve been planning a few additional changes but one thing needed to be addressed first: on the drive back from NY my muffler mount broke so it was rattling around and making extra noises. Fortunately when Dave made the stainless exhaust system I got him to add a second muffle mount on the driver side so this failure was a nuisance but not a real problem. I also had a few upgrades that I acquired at BusFusion that I wanted to take care of.

The muffler mount was fairly straight forward, I just had to hunt down a place where I could attach the new mount (I opted to add a new one rather than try to repair the old one). Eventually I bolted it onto the original mount and it seems to be doing its job just fine after a short test drive. I’ll keep an eye on it after a longer drive to make sure it’s still tight.

New muffler mount next to the old one

The third upgrade was a little more complicated. The end caps on the rear bumper were cracked and I didn’t like the look of them so I had purchased a new pair at BusFusion. I didn’t get the mounting hardware because I still had it all. Somewhere. I had taken one of the bolts off because I didn’t want to lose it but that was a couple of years ago and I forgot where the safe place was that I put it.

I did eventually find it and then proceeded to work on removing the old ones. The previous owner had drilled two holes for each end cap and used some stainless bolts threaded into the bumper. Needless to say they didn’t want to come out easily. Some PB and some persuasion worked for three of them but the 4th snapped. I tried drilling it out but knew I’d have problems with that spot so I decided to mount them the way they were designed to be installed. Which meant drilling a pair of 1/4″ holes through the 1/4″ thick steel bumper. I bought some stainless nuts & bolts plus a new drill bit for the occasion knowing it wouldn’t be an easy task. It worked out fine though and I like the look much better.

New bumper end caps

The final upgrade was to finally mount the front license plate properly plus add the vanity plate from Germany that Andrea give me for my birthday. If you look at any of the old photos of Babe you’ll see the plate attached to the lower grill with zip ties. Not pretty, plus it blocked a little airflow to the radiator.

I carefully measured where the mount would go and drilled two more holes, this time in the front bumper. Everything lined up and I got out the stainless nuts and bolts and discovered that I couldn’t get the nut on the bolt from the back-side of the bumper. There wasn’t room for tools or fingers. Well… I’ll let the next three photos tell the story. I’m pleased with the result.

The old plate still in place

The bumper had to come off to do this

Bumper back in place, including the BusFusion plate trim and the German plate

As for my ISP… meh. Something went wrong with their router and eventually I had to do a factory reset and start over. I never stick with defaults so for years I’ve been using addresses in the private “10 dot” range rather than in the 192.168 range. And some of my devices use static addresses  to make them easier to acceess (like the various NAS I have). I’ve been able to get all of the settings back except for the IP addressing. The router won’t let me use anything other than something under 192.168!!! I’m waiting to hear back from their technical support but meanwhile all of my network storage is offline. As is my printer and a few other devices. Sigh.

One Reply to “I Never Though It Would Be This Complicated…”

  1. Even little auto repair / upgrade projects are super-rewarding when they are completed properly.

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